One of the biggest misconceptions about our rehabilitation therapy program at Bangor Maine Veterans’ Home is that it’s only for our residents and those staying here for a short-term recovery.
When in fact, our outpatient physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language therapy programs are open to all eligible veterans and family members.
What’s Available at the Bangor Outpatient Therapy Department?
The Bangor Maine Veterans’ Home includes a modern therapy department with two therapy gyms, a pool and advanced rehabilitation equipment.
Our team of 21 skilled professionals includes certified physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, physical therapy assistants, occupational therapy assistants, and rehabilitation aides. They work with you and your doctors to develop a customized, outpatient treatment plan focused on your needs for recovery.
Along with individualized skilled instruction and support, we also provide family training and education to help the people closest to you become even stronger sources of support in your recovery.
We advise all veterans to not wait on getting your veteran benefits and eligibility in line, so you are prepared in the event of a surgery, illness and any needed inpatient and/or outpatient therapy. Get a copy of your military discharge paperwork (DD Form 214) and inform your primary care provider of your intent to use the benefits of Maine Veterans’ Home.
The best way to determine eligibility is to contact one of our admissions specialists at Bangor. As advocates for veterans, we have experience working with state and federal agencies and can help guide you down the right path.
Even if you never need our services, it is always advisable to have your paperwork complete to ensure you get the veteran benefits you deserve.
Aquatic Therapy at Bangor Veterans’ Home
One of the highlights of the Bangor rehabilitation and therapy department is the HydoWorx therapy pool.
“People just loves this,” says Michelle Bell, rehabilitation manager at Bangor. “The water is 86-92 degrees warm. It’s private and quiet. It’s 1-on-1 attention with just the patient and therapist.”
The pool includes a variable speed treadmill, harness system and underwater camera, with therapy conducted by physical and occupational therapists trained in aquatic therapy.
Patients often start with aquatic therapy before transitioning to land therapy. By taking advantage of the patient’s buoyancy in the water, immediate rehabilitative therapy and resistance/strength training can begin with less stress on the body.
Physical Therapy at Bangor Veterans’ Home
One of the many state-of-the-art pieces of equipment within the physical therapy unit is the ZeroG, an overground gait and balance training system.
“It gets patients up and moving earlier,” says Traci Kennedy, the senior physical therapist in the Bangor therapy center.
The ZeroG harness system provides body weight support when therapy focuses on walking again and or other movements. It allows patients to safely practice physical therapy early during rehabilitation, a key factor to enhancing outcomes. “It’s a great safety net for difficult balance and movement activities,” Traci says.
One of our highly advanced programs includes the LSVT-BIG, where we help patients improve limb movement and balance. While the program can be intense, it’s highly effective in helping people with Parkinson’s disease gain better movement in daily life.
Physical therapy at Bangor blends the latest equipment and advancements with proven techniques focused on coordination, strength, flexibility and endurance.
Occupational Therapy at Bangor Veterans’ Home
Our occupational therapists are skilled in helping veterans achieve the highest possible levels of independence.
Programs are developed after a careful physical and functional needs assessment and are designed to expand capabilities, such as improving cognitive abilities, self-care skills, strengthening and coordination and other daily living skills.
We also have a Dynavision D2, a state-of-the-art sophisticated visuomotor and cognitive assessment/training system that helps patients improve their hand-eye coordination, reaction times and reaction speeds.
Speech-Language Therapy at Bangor Veterans’ Home
Our speech-language pathologists work with veterans and eligible family members to treat articulation problems, Apraxia, voice disorders, swallowing disorders, cognitive communication disorders and more.
Through speech-language therapy programs, patients can improve thinking, listening and speaking skills as well as a number of other cognitive abilities.
Our rehabilitation therapy program at Bangor, both outpatient and inpatient, continues to grow as we add more advanced equipment and our team continues training in the latest techniques.
Wellness Programs at Bangor Home
All of our patients are encouraged to stay active through our wellness classes. The classes are held weekly and currently include basic and advanced fitness, Tai Chi, aqua-therapy and maintenance therapy.
Whether you’ve recently completed outpatient physical therapy or are a veteran just looking to stay active in a comfortable environment, you are invited to try out our veteran wellness program at Bangor.
For more information on the Bangor outpatient therapy programs, wellness classes or services, please call our Bangor facility at 207-299-1585 or email rehabwellness@MaineVets.org
Maine Veterans’ Homes is an independent nonprofit organization with six locations throughout Maine, each welcoming our honored veterans. For more information, contact Maine Veterans’ Homes or give us a call at 800-278-9494.